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Active Adventures in USVI

Explore the Islands' Rum and Beer
Active Adventures in USVI
The U.S. Virgin Islands offer some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world, including the chance to get cozy with sea turtles. But it's not all about the water. There are also educational hiking tours and opportunities to take to the skies.
Photo courtesy of Cruzan Rum
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    Explore the Islands' Rum and Beer
    Explore the Islands' Rum and Beer
    While in the Caribbean, you'll want to become acquainted with the local rum. Tour the Captain Morgan visitor center and the Cruzan Rum Distillery, on St. Croix, to learn more about the spirit, and then spend your cocktail hours deciding which is better: the mojito, the sidecar, or the daiquiri. For a taste of small-batch distilling, try the homemade liqueurs sold at Lucia Henley's Native Delicacies, on St. Thomas. If you're more of a beer enthusiast, check out the variety of delicious (and award-winning) craft brews available at St. John Brewers' Tap Room.
    Photo courtesy of Cruzan Rum
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    Snorkeling Underwater National Monuments
    Snorkeling Underwater National Monuments
    Take a deep breath because the U.S. Virgin Islands are known as one of the top snorkeling destinations in the world. There's plenty to see beneath the sea, starting with not one, but two underwater national monuments. Snorkel the Buck Island Reef National Monument off St. Croix and the Virgin Islands Coral Reef Monument off St. John, and you'll quickly learn why these special areas are protected. A well-marked underwater snorkeling trail runs through St. John's Trunk Bay and equipment is available for rent right on the beach. Other superlative snorkeling is from Coki Beach, on St. Thomas, and Leinster Bay, on St. John.
    Photo by age fotostock
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    Hiking the Islands
    Hiking the Islands
    One of the best ways to dive in to the U.S. Virgin Islands doesn’t even involve water. Get your feet dirty and explore the natural side of St. Croix with a hiking tour by CHANT (Crucian Heritage and Nature Tourism). Mount Victory Camp, also on St. Croix, is an ecolodge that offers trekking and instruction on island skills such as weaving a basket and making a fish hook out of bone. Hiking the Reef Bay Trail, on St. John, will lead you past plantation ruins and petroglyphs carved in rocks.
    Photo by Macduff Everton/age fotostock
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    Turtle Encounters
    Turtle Encounters
    The U.S. Virgin Islands tag turtles as part of an ongoing conservation effort, and locals even know many of them by name. If you want to see these reptiles in the wild, head out to Buck Island on a sailing tour. Just 1.5 miles north of the coast of St. Croix, the island is a well-known habitat for the creatures, with leatherback, green, and hawksbill turtles all nesting there. Alternatively, try the Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, also on St. Croix, which provides a crucial nesting habitat for the leatherback sea turtle. A hike to Isaac Bay and Jack Bay, both on St. Croix, will reveal beaches nearly deserted, except for the endangered turtle-nesting sites protected by the Nature Conservancy.
    Photo by age fotostock
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    Diving St. Croix
    Diving St. Croix
    St. Croix, a well-known destination for serious scuba divers, is great for beginners, too. The living coral reef there is estimated to be about 4,000 years old and is the largest of any island in the Caribbean. Aside from an abundance of sites, there's the sheer variety: You can dive a pier, a wall, a reef, and a shipwreck if you wish. Try the wall at Cane Bay, near Frederiksted, or the piers in town. In nearby Butler Bay, there's a shallow wreck, the Suffolk Maid, for newbies and a deep wreck, the Rosa Maria, for more experienced underwater adventurers; both house an abundance of sea life.
    Photo by Carlos Villoch/age fotostock
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    Airborne Adventures
    Airborne Adventures
    Skydive Virgin Islands was the first skydiving company in the region, jumping off at St. Croix and St. Thomas. You may never have heard of "flyboarding," but once you see it, you'll never forget it. Strap onto a flyboard, and use water pressure to shoot yourself up to 30 feet in the air, or to dive under water. St. Thomas Flyboarding at Lindbergh Bay has the equipment and instructors. Zip-lining—where you whiz across a cable via harness that's attached to a pulley—is another high-flying, adrenaline-soaked activity; check out Tree Limin' Extreme, on St. Thomas.
    Photo courtesy of St. Thomas Flyboarding